# Wind Power and New Mexico 4-H

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```							The Power of the Wind
and
New Mexico 4-H
Karen Paige
Northern Stars 4-H Club
November 5, 2011
Wind Power Curriculum Basics
• Based on national curriculum, not NM curriculum
www.4-h.org/curriculum/wind (certain sections
only)
• Introduces engineering concepts
• Involves hands on activities for a range of ages
divided into logical sections, for easy group or
individual work
• Interested 4-H members can take the project
further with ideas in curriculum and online
Curriculum Chapters and Activities
1) Think like an engineer: Design a wind powered
boat
2) Study the wind: Make a wind speed gauge, learn
the Beaufort wind scale
3) Use the wind: Design pinwheels, Lift a load with
wind, compare high and low solidity turbines,
Wind power and electric motors and generators
4) Geography and wind: Where does wind blow,
Where are wind farms located
5) Wind in art and design
Chap. 1 -Think like an engineer
•   Encourage kids to keep a scientific notebook
•   Introduce a design issue to think about
•   Activity: make a wind powered boat
–   Step 1 Define the problem
–   Step 2 Research how others have solved it
–   Step 3 Brainstorm solutions, pick one
–   Step 4 Create & test prototype
–   Step 5 Redesign solution
–   Step 6 Finalize design, make final drawings
–   Step 8 Define new problem and start over
Chap. 2 – Study the wind
• Observe wind’s effects
• Estimate wind speeds
• Use the Beaufort Wind Scale which correlates
appearance of wind on land with approximate
wind speed
• Activity – make a tetraflexagon to help
interpret Beaufort Wind Scale
Chap. 3 – Use the wind
• Activity – Design a better pinwheel
• Things to try:
– Make them smaller or larger
– Try three fold symmetry, four fold symmetry, more
– Try various stiffness of paper
• Things to discuss:
– Define what “best” means? Faster? Stronger?
– Change only one variable at a time
Chap. 3 – Use the wind,
• Activity – Use the wind to lift a load
• Challenge: Design and build a wind turbine to
lift at least four pennies in a cup
• Use Engineering Design Process
• More challenge: Design turbines with high and
low solidity and compare
• We will try these challenges later on! They
were harder than initially expected!
Chap. 3 Use the wind,
with a motor/generator
• Activity – Turn rotor blades attached to shaft of a
motor (use 1.5-3 V motor, available at Radio
Shack). Use a multimeter to measure the voltage
(potential to make electricity) generated when
blades spin. Engine is acting as generator now.
Turbines that can generate 1.0 volts can probably
light a small LED.
We had problems getting a cork to stay on the
turbine shaft and blades to stick in the cork. Any
ideas?
Chap. 3 Use the wind,
with a motor/generator
• Activity – Attach battery to motor and watch
rotors spin. Engine is acting as a motor now.
Take apart a motor and see how the motor
works to generate electricity
This is how kinetic flashlights work also!
Chap. 3 Use the wind
The science behind wind
turbines:
When electrons flow
through a wire a
magnetic field is
created around it.
When a magnetic field
moves past a wire,
electrons are pushed
through it, thereby
generating electricity.
To generate lots of
electricity, many wires
are used, a coil of wire.
Chap. 3 – Use the wind
When the north pole of a magnet passes
a coil, current flows in one direction.
When the south pole of a magnet
passes a coil, current flows in the
opposite direction.
When the magnetic field is at 90
degrees to the coil windings, the most
electric current is generated.
When the magnetic field is parallel to
the coil windings no electric current is
generated.
This cycle causes an alternating current
to flow.
The voltage and current generated
depends on the strength of the
magnets, the number of turns of wire in
the coils, the distance between the coils
and the magnets, and the speed of the
magnets passing the coils.
Chap. 4 – Geography and wind
• Maps of available wind power and existing wind
turbines from U.S. Department of Energy site –
www.windpoweringamerica.gov
• Discuss what geographic features contribute to
strong wind power.
• Discuss where wind turbines are located in NM.
• A speed of 8 mph (3 m/sec) is needed to start a
generator. A speed of 15 mph (7 m/sec) is
needed to produce electricity.
Chap. 5 – Wind in art and design
• Poetry, literature, kinetic sculptures
• Design your own wind machine
How can NM 4-H use this curriculum?
Let’s brainstorm!
• National curriculum not currently a project in
NM 4-H
• Excellent club project as a monthly group
activity
• Individuals could enroll in a Self Determined
project – maybe Electricity?
Summary
• Excellent hands-on project for individuals and
groups
• Comprehensive, easy-to-use curriculum
• Many resources available on line
• Teaches STEM skills
• Not a NM 4-H project, yet…
• Let’s try the experiments now!

```
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